Review of 'Pham Sushi'

Looking for somewhere to eat close to our offices near the Barbican the other night for a business discussion we ended up in Pham Sushi on the edge of the estate very close to Moorgate tube station. The ground floor restaurant has floor to ceiling glass windows looking into the cool, modern, brightly lit interior. At the small reception desk we were offered a bag for our wet umbrellas then shown into the main restaurant area then seated near the counter where the sushi chefs were hard at work.

The menu is somewhat daunting and given that we were meant to be talking we appealed to our waitress for recommendations. These ended up being fairly unimaginative as she suggested the “House Special Set” of sushi (“10 pieces of Nigiri, and 6 pieces of Chef Special Roll”; £18) and the “Assorted Sashimi” (15 slices; £25). My companion had previously eaten here so also ordered the “Rock Shrimp Tempura in Spicy sauce” (£12) which he remembered had been very good. Sushi and sashimi can, of course, be ordered individually with the menu containing many options. Also present are a few yakitori (skewers), bentos and soups.

We started with some miso soup (£3) which was very tasty and served piping hot. It had a good amount of ingredients but perfectly balanced half and half with a flavoursome broth. A tiny small Japanese side serving of “salad” was also full of flavour.

In short order the dishes started arriving beginning, unsurprisingly, with the sashimi. Surprising both of us in addition to the slices of raw fish was also several servings of a raw-fish roll. All of the fish was wonderfully fresh and delicious. The “Rock Shimp Tempura” was an oddity with a very thick sauce reminiscent of something you might find in a Chinese rather than Japanese restaurant but the subtle flavour and crunchy shrimp were very good. The sushi was magnificent with a the plate wonderfully arranged with two matching nigiri at each of the four corners and a “Pham Special Roll” in the middle (“Snow crab and Avocado roll wrapped in Hirame sashimi and lime topping”) which had a wonderful crunch from the tempura pieces around it's outside.

For dessert we each had an order of mochi (a Japanese sweet pastry wrapped around ice cream) consisting of three balls which had a quite mild flavour but perfectly presented.

When we visited the restaurant was about half full but often we had trouble getting the attention of the staff as they let us get on with our talk. The (mostly non-Japanese) staff were very friendly and helpful though, perhaps, a bit unimaginative in recommendations. For drinks we both had green tea with my request for “kaimatcha” resulting in nothing more than a puzzled look which was a bit worrying (no, they didn't have any of this, generally, wheat-based tea).

An expensive place to eat but quite pleasant and very tasty. Definitely worth seeking out in the side streets if you are in the area. Note that Pham has another location on Whitecross Street that includes a take away.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2017-08-09

Cuisine: Japanese

Address: The Heron, 5 Moor Lane, London EC2Y 9AP ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Moorgate NRLOGO Moorgate TUBE Barbican

Location: London (England) - Spitalfields



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Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7638 6668